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Immigration Reform Could Mean A ‘New Life’ For Millions Of Californians

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PICO-UNION (CBSLA.com) — The lives of nearly 3 million undocumented workers in California could change in remarkable ways if a plan to overhaul the nation’s immigration laws pushes full-steam ahead.

A “Gang of Eight” bipartisan senators Monday unveiled the framework for comprehensive immigration reform, which includes stricter border security and a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million illegal immigrants in the United States.

The undocumented workers, however, would have to pass a criminal background check, pay a fine and back taxes before they would be granted probationary legal status.

The plan, which also calls for a crackdown on employers who hire illegal immigrants, is backed by Pres. Obama, who will lead a key immigration reform speech in Las Vegas Tuesday.

25-year-old “Isis” of Pico-Union, who wished to withhold her real name, has lived in Los Angeles for the past 15 years as an illegal immigrant.

She couldn’t help but cry when she told KCAL9’s Suzie Suh what she’s had to go through.

“When I turned 17, I found out I wasn’t able to go to school because I didn’t have papers. It was a struggle,” she said. “Most of my friends are going to school. They’re doing something with their lives life and I just feel stuck.”

“Isis” said the bipartisan immigration blueprint is a dream closer to coming true—a dream where she no longer has to live in fear.

“We can live free. It’s a chance for a new life, a new beginning,” she said.

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